PETALING JAYA: An Orang Asli from Perak today stood up to share the experiences of discrimination which he said his community faces on a daily basis.
Taking the microphone during a question-and-answer session at a conference on cultural rights in Malaysia here today, the Orang Asli who only wanted to be known as Rahman, spoke of frustrations he said he had been holding on for too long.
“In schools, students and even the teachers call us dirty. They call us pigs, they call us dogs,” he said.
Even at some religious talks, the Orang Asli were made fun of, he added.
“A friend of mine from Kelantan shared a video where this ustaz says ‘don’t be stupid like the Orang Asli.’
“This saddens me, and I don’t want this to continue. I want Malaysians to stop insulting us Orang Asli.”
Following this, another Orang Asli who identified herself as Fatimah said she realised that people who were considered ugly were often compared to the Orang Asli.
“When the person is beautiful, she is compared to the Orang Asal in Sabah and Sarawak but if she’s ugly, she’s compared to the Orang Asli.
“Why does this have to happen when everyone is beautiful in their own way and has their own uniqueness and strengths?”
Addressing Fatimah, Madeline Berma from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, who is an Iban, told her to ignore the hurtful words of others.
“When people call us ugly, it is they who are actually ugly,” she said.
“If you think you are beautiful, don’t worry about what other people say because you are beautiful.”